ULSTER Farmers’ Union President Harry Sinclair is encouraging all Farmers in the Banbridge and Rathfriland area of County Down, who have received letters from DARD seeking agreement for AFBI staff to carry out the sett survey work on their land to sign the permission slips attached to these letters and return them as quickly as possible.
The UFU held a meeting on Thursday night for any farmer or landowner involved in the proposed 100km2 geographically targeted preliminary badger sett survey which was announced by Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill. At the meeting DARD’s Head of TB and BR Policy spoke to the farmers and landowners involved in the proposed sett survey work and explained what the sett survey will involve.
The survey is in preparation for the proposed “test, vaccinate or remove (TVR)” wildlife intervention research which includes the removal of diseased badgers from the countryside and the vaccination of the remaining badgers in the target area.
Harry Sinclair said; “The TVR research is an exciting and positive development for the control of Bovine TB. However, for it to be successful the badger sett survey must be undertaken and needs to have the support of as many farmers and landowners as possible within the survey area. It is vital that farmers and landowners who have received their letter from DARD sign the permission slips so that the sett survey work can begin straightaway. It is crucial that farmers and landowners show their support and cooperate in the survey work as this move is a positive step in the right direction to the eradication of bovine TB in Northern Ireland.”